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We will make St Andrews a beacon of inclusivity, placing diversity and equality at the centre of everything we do and creating an environment in which all can flourish and realise their potential.

Diversity and inclusivity are essential to a thriving society and to our success as a forward-looking, world-class university. We will excel if we can attract and retain talented people with a broad range of backgrounds and if we value and mobilise the abilities of all of our staff and students. The University has been making a determined shift in its culture to ensure that everyone – our students, staff, and alumni – can thrive as part of the St Andrews community. Inclusivity is about valuing difference and enabling everyone to contribute. It requires always being willing to learn and to change and we will work this self-reflection into our institutional identity through dialogue and openness.


Diversity and inclusivity underpin delivery of our strategic themes. Being world-leading requires us to attract and retain the best talent, wherever it is found. Seizing the opportunities of the digital age requires us to ensure we develop skills and support on-going learning in step with technological advancements; and fostering entrepreneurialism and supporting sustainability require the creativity and effective problem solving that come from the ability to draw on a wide range of experiences, insights, and diversity of thinking.


  • We will ensure that our teaching, research, and operations are at the forefront of best practice in equality, inclusion, and diversity.
  • We will foster an inclusive culture where all feel able to be their authentic selves, and where prejudice and discrimination are robustly challenged.
  • We will make real progress in addressing the inequalities and disadvantages experienced by minoritised groups including, but not limited to, those related to race and ethnicity; socio-economic backgrounds; the experience of LGBTIQ+ people in our culture; disability; sex and gender.
  • We will build greater diversity across our student community – strengthening the pathways that enable access and success – and in our workforce, particularly at senior levels, ensuring that the leadership of the University has an intrinsic understanding of the perspectives and potential of its community.
  • We will take steps to support staff and student physical and mental wellbeing and resilience and to foster a culture of care and compassion.

Research, impact, and innovation

We will:

  • Embed an inclusive research culture that recognises everyone’s contribution and values and incentivises collaboration.
  • Enhance structures and processes that support a diverse range of rewarding career paths and enable everyone to achieve their full potential.
  • Ensure a working environment that supports positive working practices and behaviours and ethical research methods.

Education and the student experience

We will:

  • Celebrate belonging and diversity in an inclusive learning environment which supports all our students to achieve their fullest potential and be socially responsible citizens.
  • Offer flexible and accessible academic programmes which support widening access, and encourage lifelong education.
  • Further advance inclusive teaching practice with particular attention to curriculum design and delivery in order to support students with disabilities.

We will deliver this by

  • Facilitating a community approach to culture change which recognises that everyone has a part to play in creating a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Providing visible signals of inclusion through role models, networks, narratives, and the accessible configuration of the working and learning environment.
  • Demonstrating institutional commitment and leadership by seeking and maintaining a sector-leading level of recognition through equality and diversity accreditation schemes.
  • Developing enhanced data and analytic capability and building trust and transparency in data collection and usage, to provide timely and accessible equality, diversity and inclusion information to inform policy and practice interventions.
  • Refreshing the People Enabling Strategy and developing appointment processes and career pathways that build diversity, especially at senior levels.
  • Supporting accessible and competency-based skills development to ensure that all staff have the opportunity to grow and fulfil their potential.
  • Enhancing the opportunities for our staff and students to engage in consultations, discussion, and open fora so that a full range of voices contribute to the development of the University and its future success.

Progress will be indicated by

  • The diversity of staff and of the student body.
  • Positive feelings of wellbeing, inclusion and belonging amongst our student and staff body, alongside external recognition within targeted frameworks (such as Athena Swan, the Race Equality Charter and the LGBT Charter).
  • Minimising participation gaps and attainment gaps.
  • Development of career pathways across both our academic and professional colleagues and a reduction in pay gaps amongst staff cohorts.